Romans (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Friend to Friend
The tree is down, the decorations are packed away and the company has all gone home. I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and have emerged, relatively unscathed, ready to face a New Year. If you have ventured out into the malls, you have discovered that those stores that were crammed full for a month are now almost deserted in comparison. The store clerks that just days ago welcomed you with open arms and flashing smiles now ignore you as if you were an intrusion. There’s a reason. They are busy taking their yearly inventory. We need to do the same.
A spiritual inventory is an important tool of growth in our walk with God. How can we know where we are headed if we don’t know where we have been? What lessons did we learn during the last year? What do we want to keep and what needs to be tossed aside as we face a new year? What changes need to happen and what needs to remain the same? What new choices do we need to make in order to achieve new goals – the right goals?
It is often so easy to keep on doing "the next thing". We put one foot in front of the other, casually drifting through a life without purpose, only to wake up one day to discover that we have wasted much of that life on the “unimportant”. I don't know about you, but I have reached the point in life where I absolutely refuse to live in survival mode. I want my life to count…to make an impact.
For several nights, I have found myself lying awake for hours, pondering the "next step". I am on my knees asking God for His direction and trusting Him to make those steps clear. And when I can’t understand the plan or see what’s just ahead, I choose to trust God.
It is not just another year...it is another chapter of life, filled with opportunities, challenges and fresh purpose. I choose against my "old nature" that wants to just sit back and rest in the warmth of yesterday's victories or hide in the darkness of yesterday's defeats.
Instead, I choose to strain both victory and defeat through the promise of Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good...learning the truths and lessons that need to be learned while embracing God's highest plan for my life. We do not have to settle for anything less than knowing God and pursuing all that He holds in His hands. Right now, pick up that pad and pencil and get started on your own personal inventory. And may this be the most God honoring year of your life.
Father, I want to make this year of my life count for You. I’ll admit that surrender does not come easy to me but please give me the strength to do so. Help me to make the right choices and set the highest goals. Reveal the lessons and truths I have learned during the last year and help me plug them into this year. And above all, use my life as a tool in Your hand. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Now it's Your Turn
- Buy a pad or journal for 2007.
- Begin the journal by taking a spiritual inventory of 2006. List experiences that changed your life. Include those relationships that strengthened you as well as those that depleted you. Record failures and victories and the lesson(s) you learned from both.
- Review each entry and beside each one, set a corresponding new goal for 2007.
- Keep your journal with you and refer to it often.
More from the Girlfriends
You can’t do anything about 2006. It is history. However, the clean slate of 2007 lies before you, filled with new beginnings and fresh starts. Write each day well, my friend. We will pray for you as you do.
For more on this topic, see Mary’s three CD Gift Set that includes:
"Stepping Out in Faith"
Girlfriends in God, Inc.
Originally published Thursday, 28 December 2006.